In 2013, Marta Zgierska was involved in a serious car accident that left her struggling with both physical and mental hardships. This traumatic event gave rise to her Post series.
In style, Zgierska’s photo-projects shift between creative and documentary. The Post series attempts to embody her post-accident trauma through photography. It is based on tightly cropped photographs of objects (chairs, a coat, a rock), or producing fragile constructions that hang on by a thread or disintegrate under the slightest pressure, like the puzzle above. These austere but precise, meaningful photographs focus on their subjects, resembling jigsaw pieces yet to be assembled. Her glacial images are like a conversation reduced to the bare minimum of sounds or, rather, triggers.
Post describes her painful experience and hidden tension, interspersed with recurring dreams and obsessions. It is an attempt to open up to the world and conquer her anxiety. In the language of images, the artist has exposed her fears, linking them to musings on experience and memory, but steering clear of literal representations. She explained:
Behind every photograph there is a story which does not necessarily need to be told.
That would seem to be a good illustration of the above work. Zgierska’s time-consuming jigsaw puzzle is pointless, since we cannot see the result of her efforts. Basing the project on personal experience, the artist does not share everything with the viewer. She seeks order and structure in what she has been through. Only she knows what picture adorns the front of the puzzle. That, coupled with her private experiences, are what make this work so interesting.
Originally written in Polish, translated by MB, Nov 2018
This text is part of the project Metaphors of Independence: Poland In 100 Photos.
To coincide with the centenary of Poland regaining its independence, we have created a selection of photographs that allow us to understand both yesterday and today. A hundred photographs but so much more. Find out more.